War is big business, and with big business comes big resources, as new research indicates.
According to the World Economic Forum, The US Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world, boasting 2.13 million active duty servicemen and women, along with support staff of civilian workers.
Adding to the total is over 1.1 million National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, taking the total to 3.2 million employees.
The second largest employer in the world is the People’s Liberation Army (the Chinese military) with 2.3 million, and in third is the US supermarket giant Walmart, with 2.1 million workers.
Fast food empire McDonald’s is 4th with 1.9 million employees, while the UK National Health Service (NHS) rounds out the top five places.
In South Africa, meanwhile, mining group Anglo American is seen to be the largest private employer, with in excess of 150,000 workers, according to MoneyWeb, citing the group’s annual report.
Listed investment holding company, Bidvest, which has subsidiaries operating in services, trading and distribution, has approximately 146,000 employees, while retailer Shoprite has a staff count of approximately 100,000 people.
MoneyWeb notes that the top 40 listed companies in South Africa employ close to 1.4 million people out of nearly 9 million employees in the formal sector.
In the public sector, the country employs 2,16 million people – 456,000 at a national level, 1.12 million at a provincial level, and 311,00 at local level, according to StatsSA.